Where does Jeff Bezos foresee putting space colonists? Inside O’Neill cylinders



DATE: 29/10/2016
WRITTEN BY: ALAN BOYLE
SOURCE: GEEKWIRE



SpaceX’s Elon Musk wants to settle humans on Mars. Others talk about a Moon Village. But Seattle billionaire Jeff Bezos has a different kind of off-Earth home in mind when he talks about having millions of people living and working in space.

His long-range vision focuses on a decades-old concept for huge artificial habitats that are best known today as O’Neill cylinders.

“We need to go into space if we want to continue growing civilization,” he explained. “If you take baseline energy usage on Earth and compound it at just 3 percent per year for less than 500 years, you have to cover the entire surface of the Earth in solar cells. That’s just not going to happen.”

Some might say the limits to growth will force civilization into a static condition, but Bezos sees space industry as the frontier for continued growth.

“I predict that in the next few hundred years, all heavy industry will move off planet. It will be just way more convenient to do it in space, where you have better access to resources, better access to 24/7 solar power,” he said last weekend. “Solar power on Earth is not that great, because the planet shades us half the time. In space, you get solar power all the time. So there’ll be a lot of advantages to doing heavy manufacturing there, and Earth will end up zoned residential and light industry.”

The way Bezos sees it, in-space power generation and manufacturing is the answer, rather than sending a million people to Mars.

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE @ http://www.geekwire.com/2016/jeff-bezos-space-colonies-oneill/

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